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SELF-CARE AND THE ART OF HANDWASHING

This is the 200th Celebratory year of Florence Nightingale’s birth (May 12, 1820).   Florence was the first practicing Nurse Epidemiologist in the world (“Fundamentals of Nursing”, Eighth Edition; Patricia Potter & Anne Perry; Page 2).  

Epidemiology is the study (scientific, systematic, and data-driven) of the distribution (frequency, pattern) and determinants (causes, risk factors) of health-related states and events (not just diseases) in specified populations (neighborhood, school, city, state, country, global). (cdc.gov)

Consequently, 2020 is designated by the World Health Organization as the “Year of the Nurse”.  This acknowledgement motivates me to raise the awareness level of sanitary techniques introduced by Florence during the Crimean War in the mid-1800’s that decreased infection rates of soldiers from 43% to 2%. (Fundamentals of Nursing”, Eighth Edition; Patricia Potter & Anne Perry; Page 2).

One effective way to help prevent any virus or bacteria from spreading is through thorough handwashing techniques.   This is a list of two that I have been using and teaching clients:

ALCOHOL BASED HAND SANITIZER: 
1 – Apply a dime-sized amount (2-3 drops) into palms of dry hands
2 – Rub product into the hands as follows:
Placing palm to palm begin applying onto fingertips of each hand rubbing between and around  fingers.
     Rub each thumb and the back of each hand with opposite palm.
3 – Rub hands until dry and do not wipe off.
This technique is effective if hands do not have any food, clinging dirt or other noticeable substances.  Otherwise use warm running water and soap technique.
HAND WASHING WITH RUNNING WARM WATER AND SOAP
1 – Wet hands under running water
2 – Apply soap by rubbing over hands vigorously to create an abundant lather
3 – Rub palm to palm, fingertips of each hand going in between and around fingers         
4 – Clasp each thumb then finish rubbing the back of each hand with opposite palm
5 – Rinse hands thoroughly under warm running water
Repeat this technique if you want to be sure that you gave yourself enough time to thoroughly sanitize yourself after using the gas pump, shopping carts, ATM machines, or other items in public places.
Take the time to be cautious not only during this Covid19 panic but all throughout the year.
Namaste,
Nurse Judith

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